Stark strikes gold for Kerala Tourism

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | October 01, 2009
The Kerala Tourism campaign by Stark Communications has been awarded the Gold award at the PATA Travel Mart 2009

A campaign for Kerala Tourism, titled 'Dream Season in God's Own Country', by Stark Communications has won the Gold award in the Marketing - Secondary Government Destination category at the PATA Travel Mart 2009. The event recently concluded in Hangzhou, China. The entry was judged 'Best in Class' from amongst 236 entries worldwide.

'Dream Season in God's Country' was targeted at the Indian market. Conceptualised and executed by Stark, the campaign objective was to convert the traditional off-season in Kerala into a season of opportunity for domestic travellers. It positioned the state as an affordable and inviting destination, making God's Own Country an all-season destination.

& #BANNER1 & #The campaign logistics included value-for-money packages by 177 industry partners, a micro-site, and a toll-free info-line, all of which were supported by marketing promotions in the print and electronic media, themed 'Kerala Within Your Reach'. According to the Stark team, the campaign led to a 15.2 per cent increase in tourist arrivals in the state, during the off-season in 2008.

Roy V Mathew, director, Stark Communications, says that the key issue for the industry was low room occupancy during the monsoon. "The challenge was to make Kerala a value for money proposition, without eroding the brand value. And in the process, Kerala not only gained an added season in the travel calendar, but also enjoyed a big growth in domestic tourist arrivals."

At the awards ceremony in Hangzhou, reveals the Stark team, the judges apparently commented that it was "not easy to find a solution to counter seasonality. The concept of a dream season is terrific." The campaign made use of print, television, radio, Internet and road shows in major cities, apart from marketing partnerships and collaboration.

For the record, Stark has been associated with Kerala Tourism for 14 years.